When will we have to pay again for MSFS?

I can’t even begin to imagine how much MS invested in developing this amazing sim and of course one would hope sales have been astronomical. However, all companies are in business to make a profit and with the ongoing World updates and fixes they must be eating into that profit at an alarming rate. So at what point do you think we might have to start paying again toward the continuing development of MSFS and how that might be presented?

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Well, they still earn from the marketplace sales on 3rd party addons. Also at some points they will release payware addons themself as they stated.


Chances are things like helicopters will be a payware addon.


I feel it’s amazing that Asobo/MS provide the world updates for no costs. This might change in the future, don’t know.
Expansions that add new functionality (like for instance the helicopters) will most likely be payware.

Also, there’s a reason MSFS is on Gamepass. Microsoft are really pushing for this subscription model. If they get enough Gamepass subscribers, they’re solid.


There have been over 2 million sales. I assume not 3 million yet or they would have announced it. That’s great for a PC-only title.

Amazing! Where did they announce the 2 million sales?

I think in reality, this is all work that was meant to be ready for the original release so perhaps it was already budgeted.


Don’t forget the Xbox market they are about to get flight sim into


I would find that a bit disingenuous because helicopters were promised to be in MSFS in the pre-release marketing and making people pay for an initial promise rubs me the wrong way.

That said you are probably right.

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I’m sure Microsoft has ways of continuing to a make money with this sim. I doubt that they would allow all these third-party manufacturers to add their products to the marketplace if they were not making a percentage. I’m also sure that people are still purchasing the product as any other software and will continue to do so when it is working much better. The sim was not released as a finished product.
If they actually create a really good aircraft, I’m sure people like me would pay extra for it. As they make the sim better and better, more real simmers will purchase it over time as well.

They have a recurring revenue stream from the Marketplace, not to mention new sales and an upcoming Xbox user base. I don’t see it as a given that they would need to up-charge for anything in the future.

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We won’t have to pay again for what we already have. We’ll likely have to buy DLC like helicopters, etc once those come out, which I consider fair. That’s really new content, and I’m totally fine with paying for that.

Asobo already addressed this in one of the past Q&A’s…don’t ask which one because I don’t remember. But I do believe they said future content such as helicopters would be a paid addon.

I have a feeling MS is working towards a defined goal on this project at which point they might consider the basic game as ‘finished’.
Continued enhancements after that may well be chargeable.
I also wonder if they might be tempted at all to produce a ‘pro’ version for professional training. Seems to me they have the bare bones for that here now.
However, the basic premise of the question is spot on, it must continue to be a profitable franchise for them, and for us users I would add.

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Yeah they could do that as well.
Also. I think Microsoft is taking this project as research and development kind of thing. For the technology of the streaming based, I would be surprised if they would use the same technology for other projects as well since it proved itself to be working

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“pre-release marketing”… I mean, there was no official marketing, just a commitment that helicopters would be added at some point, but, would not be there on launch.

They already make a lot of money, but yeah, if MS decides to pull the plug in the sim and shuts down the servers we’re basically stuck with a big empty world

This is an excellent point that many others don’t think about.

If other sims announced that they were closing today, we’d still have years upon years in sim time because all of the downloaded content we have. However, if MSFS pulled the plug I am pretty sure the sim wouldn’t be possible to play, based off of all it’s online streaming data.

That being said, Microsoft is a huge company and they’ve said over and over that they’re in it for the long haul.

“added at some point”

Are you serious? :grin:

Adding helicopters down the line was a given anyway since we had those in previous versions. That in itself is not much of a commitment, unless you think regression is a good thing.

It was somewhat insinuated that helicopters would not be far away post-launch. But then they low-key broke the news it would not be before 2022 and the public saw what a bug fest the new sim was in the immediate period after release, which Alpha testers knew but were under NDA.

Marketing “there will be helicopters” is of course a lot easier than “there will be helicopters, but it’s not a priority”. Seeing how many issues there are with the core sim that’s a good thing, but don’t try to sugarcoat this.

A non-free helicopter DLC is questionable unless the flight model is so revolutionary that it needed extra funding and development time.

Yet, we already have a helicopter available for free. Not without issues mind you, but it’s not impossible and I am willing to see if Asobo will offer a competitive flight model for rotorcraft that improves upon the broken mechanics of FSX.

Let’s wait and see.

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Well, there was no marketing about helis anyway. If casual chit chat on Q&As and discussions on panels now institutes as marketing, then, they might as well not bother with any future marketing budgets. Additionally, those in the heli sim community were actually approached by asobo and MS for their input on putting helis into the sim.

There is also a difference here between “flight models” and the actual core physics that govern those flight model parameters drawn from config files. The core physics will have to be written independently from those that govern traditional flight, as well as tested etc.